What is Waterwatch?
Waterwatch is a community water quality monitoring program that encourages all Australians to become involved and active in the protection and management of their waterways and catchments. Waterwatch engages and supports local community groups, residents, schools and landowners to regularly monitor the water quality of local creeks, wetlands, lakes, rivers and drainage lines.
Why Monitor Water Quality?
Healthy catchments produce healthy ecosystems with happy fish, frogs, birds, plants, macro-invertebrates and people. Waterwatch aims to create awareness of water quality and catchment management issues by involving all members of the community and by forming partnerships with water and resource management authorities, business and industry.
Making a Difference!
Water quality information collected throughout a catchment provides a picture of the health of our waterways. Waterwatch groups have initiated many positive, community based conservation activities such as creek restoration, willow removal, removing litter from waterways, eradicating weeds, development of habitats, and reducing the use of pesticides and other pollutants. Many Waterwatch participants are also associated with various other ACT environmental groups who undertake these activities. It’s rewarding, fun and you can make some great friends.
Through our Catchment Health Indicator (CHI) Program, Waterwatch monitoring activities are linked with Landcare projects to:
- To recognise significant pollution events
- Monitor and evaluate the impact of projects undertaken by the GCG and its members
- Identify degraded areas in the Ginninderra Catchment
- Identify causes of long-term degradation in the Ginninderra Catchment.
Monthly Waterwatch Testing
This regular monitoring has been running since 1999, with Waterwatchers measuring basic physical and chemical parameters at a specified site on the 3rd Sunday of every month. Participants measure:
- Air Temperature
- Water Temperature
- Electrical Conductivity
- Dissolved Oxygen and
- Waterwatchers also take observations about the water flow, level of algae growth, weather conditions and any rubbish at the site.
This monitoring program forms the basis of the data we collect for the Catchment Health Indicator Program. It’s main aim is to provide baseline data to indicate the “normal” water quality of Ginninderra Creek. As such, it is important that data is collected for these sites every month.